If you've ever for a moment wondered what it must be like to live with a child with autism, Charlotte Moore's book George and Sam, will answer all your questions. The book is the moving story of her life with her two autistic sons, and her youngest child, Jake, who is not autistic. Her memoir is combined with the latest information and research on autism and provides a fascinating view of her family's life.
The chaos and disruption of day to day living with her sons is clear, and the calm way she deals with clothes flushed down the loo, food emptied over the kitchen floor or peculiar obsessions and complex food fads is inspiring. She takes it all in her stride and explains about cupboards locked to prevent the children getting at their contents, cartoons watched over and over again or peculiar meals in a matter of fact way. Charlotte Moore takes her story right back to the children's births and explains how they were diagnosed and the impact it had on the family. This new updated version of the book follows them through adolescence, and also includes the columns Charlotte Moore wrote for The Guardian about life with her boys.
The book covers many of the different theories about why autism affects some children and explores some of the treatments the family has tried from behaviour therapy and light and sound therapy to a gluten-free and casein-free diet. Charlotte Moore makes it clear that there is no wonder cure for autism, but discusses how some of these treatments have improved her children's lives.
George and Sam is a fascinating book which will help you to understand how autism affects children and their families and will leave you full of admiration for an author who has coped with so much without self-pity. Charlotte Moore's love and affection for her children shines through despite the daily exasperations of living with autism and her honesty in opening up her life for her readers gives a unique insight into autism.
About the author
Charlotte Moore was brought up in Battle in Sussex in the Tudor house where she now lives with her three sons. She read English at Oxford before becoming a teacher for twelve years. She is now a freelance author, and has written three novels and a family history as well as a long-running column for The Guardian.